WILMINGTON, Del. -- DuPont today announced it is executing its $100 million reinvestment plan to increase its speed-to-market for new seed products.



The plan includes the addition of more than 400 positions, mainly in research and development in its wholly owned subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.



"The global demand for agricultural crops is very strong," said William S. Niebur, vice president - DuPont Crop Genetics Research & Development. "We have the science to help farmers and others across the value chain meet the growing demand. This additional investment will allow us to put that science to work for our customers faster."



The investment is the largest year-to-year increase in
research in the 81-year history of the Pioneer business, a unit of the DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition platform. The platform is increasing support for seed and biotechnology research while continuing to drive a strong DuPont Crop Protection new product pipeline and Solae healthy food ingredients.



"DuPont continues to accelerate its pace of development of new and improved products, traits and enabling technologies," said Niebur. "We have the richest pipeline in our history. This investment will help us to increase our innovation even further. The new products that result will help farmers around the world improve their productivity and meet the growing demand for grain."



As part of the DuPont reinvestment plan announced in December 2006 to increase investment in plant genetics, biotechnology and other high-value growth opportunities, the Pioneer business will be expanding R&D efforts at 67 of its 92 research centers worldwide. New positions will be filled by redeploying current employees from other DuPont businesses and outside hiring.



In preparation for this unprecedented launch of new products and technologies, DuPont is also adding positions to deliver more agronomic and sales support to customers and take advantage of new product lineups.



Today the DuPont crop genetics research and development pipeline includes traits and technologies that help increase harvestable yield, increase ethanol production per acre, protect plants from insects and disease, increase nitrogen utilization, provide resistance to drought, improve weed control, and produce oils that support the demand for healthier foods.



"The Optimum(TM) GAT(TM) trait is a new innovation in our pipeline," said Niebur. "The company is on track to launch the trait, which will give farmers improved weed control options, in soybeans in 2009 and corn in 2010."



Optimum(TM) GAT(TM) combines tolerance to glyphosate herbicides and ALS herbicides, including DuPont proprietary chemistry, to give farmers broader spectrum, longer lasting weed control.



In addition to traits, the increased investment in research will enhance the ability of DuPont to improve its genetics through enhanced molecular breeding techniques. For 2007, the Pioneer business has introduced 86 new corn hybrids in North America, of which 17 are from new genetic families and 16 are triple stacks. Pioneer has launched 20 new soybean varieties for 2007 planting in North America as well.



Pioneer is a business unit of the DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition platform, and is a subsidiary of DuPont, the world's leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers and grain and oilseed processors. With headquarters in Des Moines, DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition provides access to advanced plant genetics, crop protection solutions and quality crop systems to customers in nearly 70 countries.



DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.



SOURCE: DuPont via PR Newswire.